Raquel Pennington earned a decision win over Pannie Kianzad at UFC Fight Night 192 on Saturday night and afterwards she talked about another major battle she fought outside of the Octagon earlier in the year.
“In April, I ended up getting COVID,” Pennington told reporters post-fight. “I coach high school gymnastics, and I think from just being around the athletes there, I ended up catching a really bad case. It kind of just knocked me on my butt. It was pretty scary, honestly. I ended up in the hospital twice. I was on oxygen. I was on steroids for my heart and my lungs. The migraine was just one of a kind – it was pain that was going down my spine and they had no answers for me.
“… I remember laying in bed one night and I was just like, ‘This can’t be it.’ Because I really felt like my body was just shutting down on me and I thought that was going to be the end of it. Fighting is a part of me, but it’s not who I am. At the end of the day, that was kind of one of those moments that gave you a real-life reality check. It taught me to be a lot more grateful of things.”
The illness kept the former bantamweight title contender out of action for a considerable period of time this year, so she’s now eager to get back into the Octagon sooner rather than later.
“I’m healthy, so I want to at least enjoy myself for a week or two and then I want another fight before the end of the year. Anybody who’s in the top 10.”